AEK Boco, Bristol, Bristol Premier Combination, Cadbury Heath, Danny Kitson, Gloucestershire County League, Greenbanks, Hanham, Hanham Athletic, Kitson, West Ham United, Western League
Wednesday 23rd July 2014 ko
AEK-BOCO 2 (Kitson 41 72)
CADBURY HEATH 2 (Tongue 10 Huxley 44)
My appearance at this was purely based to London-based Mark Wilkins. We were watching Coventry United the previous day, and I asked Mark where he was going the next day. He replied, and once I’d established they were a team from Hanham in Bristol, and not a Nigerian Islamic terrorist group I decided to join him.
They’ve just been promoted into the Gloucestershire County League from the Bristol Premier Combination, which allows them to renew a league rivalry with nearby Hanham Athletic. Tonight’s game was another local derby of sorts, Cadbury Heath playing a mile or two east, but two more promotions up the pyramid in the Western League Premier Division.
But dear reader (I still refuse to believe there is more than one of you!) I suspect you are now wondering how on earth the club got its unusual name? Well, Boco Boys were formed in 1978 and were named after the Argentinian side Boca Juniors, I assume the “A” became an “O” in a quirk of translation. Their most famous discovery was local lad Julian Dicks, who was signed by Birmingham City and went on to play for West Ham United. They merged with AEK Rangers in 2003, who’d been named after AEK-Athens apparently after a manager went to Greece for his holidays, saw the team name and liked what he saw!
A rail has been put up at the Greenbanks Playing Fields in readiness for the County League, but with cricket still taking precedence, this game took place on the second pitch, below and at right angles to the first. It felt a lot like the ground formerly used by Forest Town, and now AFC Mansfield. That has the velodrome pitch above “The Clod,” but in the Bristolian ground’s case the second pitch looked in far better condition than the main one.
The great advantage of the second pitch was that the bumper crowd was able to make use of the rail that will be behind the goal during the regular season, and have a superb view of the action below. Unsurprisingly the visitors moved the ball better, and an early lead was deserved. Did they ease off, or did Boco raise their game? It mattered not as Danny Kitson took the first of two well-taken goals, before Matt Huxley’s free kick fooled Joe Pople in the Boco goal to restore Heath’s lead.
I thought Heath would pull away during the second half but Kitson’s second punished the visitors’ profligacy and gave the hosts a morale-boosting draw. However, I suspect that in a competitive game, Heath would not have been so forgiving.
Today’s Edward VIII post box is to be found on the corner of Deep Pit Road and Knapps Lane, in Fishponds, Bristol.
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